A reader wrote:
I can rather easily get the feeling of I AM which I primarily sense in my upper chest and throat a little. The quickest way I can get to it is to follow a pleasant thought to it's source although I think I just realized a day or so ago that it works almost as well with unpleasant thoughts or fears. Anyhow, once there I can clearly sense the witness and have been working on watching the witness. It's a little tricky switching over from thinking to being and I am wondering if you have more input there. BUT mainly my question is this. The feeling of I AM feels very nice and when I "turn away" to watch the watcher I loose a lot of that nice feeling but I presume that's what I want to do?
However, following the false self eventually results in the real self making an appearance automatically without deliberate effort. So I suggest you continue to follow the pleasant feeling self until that burns out by itself. But you know the truth and where you are going, so don't worry about the distraction.
You can also look at someone or something and feel your emotional and tidal pull of this object, person or thing, and pay as much attention to your internal body reaction so you see/feel both at the same time.
They are not different. You will see that.
This is continuing in the feel-good way of being aware of the self as in the thorax, even though you know this is an illusion.
You have been asking solid questions regarding practice.
By the way, when you do go free, don't get stuck in that freedom as do so many and identify only with freedom.
You must always keep the welfare of others in mind and think how to teach them even when you know teaching is a lie from your newly obtained view, and "them" do not exist.
My old Zen teacher, Seung Sahn always ragged on this. When people go free, they often just rest in their sense of freedom, and become, as Robert warned, "cold fish." Then they do nothing or they become cold fish teachers with no warmth or "charisma" to carry others across.
This is not the end of your practice. You need to go beyond this. Even Ramana had difficulty with this until a second death experience in 1912.
This is important. Remember this.
21 November 2008
A reader wrote: